To complete the photo-op Triple Crown this Saturday, Mayor Clifton Murray must find only a baby to kiss. After inaugurating Selbyville’s new railroad museum in the morning, Murray will award a six-foot Mayor’s Choice trophy to the owner of his favorite auto in the Old Timers’ Day car show.
Between automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and tractors, the main event of the town’s 49th annual celebration could feature upwards of 100 vintage vehicles (all showpieces must predate 1973), according to Selbyville dignitaries. The car show last year, conversely, comprised less than 20 contestants.
“There are a lot of nice cars around here,” said Selbyville Police Sgt. Robert Reed, one of the competition’s three judges. “Most of the people will be from within 100 miles.”
Registration for the show is free and runs from 9 a.m. to noon. The evaluation phase will follow from noon to 1 p.m., and the awards ceremony will commence an hour later.
The auto exposition’s increased entrant pool should also boost spectator turnout from the 1,000 people who attended Old Timers’ Day in 2004, according to Amy Tingle, events coordinator and executive assistant for the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce is promoting Old Timers’ for the second consecutive year after absorbing the Selbyville Chamber in 2003.
“It’s just a really nice, fun family festival,” Tingle said. “Kids are just getting out of school, so it’s a good way to blow off steam.”
Activities for kids include an appearance by Lollipop the Clown, face painting, games and a moon bounce. The Children’s Area is sponsored by Friends of the Selbyville Public Library and Mediacom.
For the adults, Michael Tracy White will perform his brand of pop music from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Country and rock band Cherry Bud will follow White on the Mountaire Farms Main Stage, in the parking lot of the Mercantile Peninsula Bank, from noon to 3 p.m. Hastings Funeral Home, the primary sponsor of Old Timers’ Day, will hold a 50/50 raffle, with tickets available at the Town of Selbyville and at the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. And Selbyville merchants will hold sidewalk sales along Church Street, starting at the corner of Church and Main streets.
“It just draws people to the town to see some of the past history,” said Susan Lewis, general manager of Doyle’s Restaurant, which will provide food for Old Timers’ Day along with The Georgia House, The Pit and Southeast Sussex Rotary, among others. “It just creates more interest in a small town.”
Old Timer’s Day started in the 1960s as a merchant’s event spanning several days, according to Tingle. Local business owners would adorn the costumes of bygone eras and peddle their merchandise on Selbyville’s sidewalks. The celebration has since evolved into more of a single-afternoon festival, with the period outfits now obsolete.